Ryan Dirteater of Hulbert, aka, The Cherokee Kid, will be riding in the PBR's WinStar World Casino Invitational Friday through Sunday at the Chesapeake Energy Center. He answered some questions from The Oklahoman on Thursday.
How is your season going?
“We are just getting started. This is just our fourth stop and my highest finish was 16th in New York. It's going kind of slow, but hopefully this weekend is a game changer for me.”
What is the rankest bull you have ever been on?
“Asteroid. Everybody knows about him. I got on him in a small, open bull riding in Kansas. He was just a young bull. He bucked me off in a short round. Nobody knew how great he was. A few months after that he was on the PBR.”
List all the injuries you have received as a bull rider?
“In '09 ... I was sitting in top five in the world and had a bull step on me and broke my femur. About seven months after that I had a bull drag me around and stomp me and dislocate my knee. After that, I cracked my jaw and tore my tricep. That's about all the major injuries. I got bruises and stuff like that. I had a few broken arms when I was younger when I was going through the junior ranks and stuff like that. But that's small injuries.”
What is the one thing about you that is least like a cowboy?
“I don't wear my cowboy boots all the time. I go to the gym a lot and I got to wear tennis shoes so I wear Nikes. That's the only time I am not wearing boots.”
Do you have any superstitions or rituals?
“I like my gear packed correctly in my gear bag. I can't have nobody else doing it but me. I like to have it exactly the way I want it.”
What kind of music do you listen to?
“I listen to country, some rap, a little bit of rock. It just depends on what mood I am in.”
What is your favorite rodeo song?
“I like 100% Cowboy (by Jason Meadows).”
What is your biggest pet peeve?
“I don't like negative people. I like being around people who have a positive outlook on life.”
You are a member of the Cherokee tribe, are you offended by the use of Native American names and mascots for sports teams such as Redskins, Indians and Savages?
“No. I'm not. I am a Native American and I am proud to be a Native American. I don't think people should be offended by it. My last name is Dirteater and I am a bull rider. How ironic is that?”
What is the strangest request you have ever gotten from a fan?
“I get asked to sign certain parts of the anatomy. It's kind of embarrassing.”
Other than bull riders, what athletes do you respect the most?
“Wrestlers. I was a wrestler a high school. I know how extreme and tough that is. It's intense. It's challenging. It really teaches discipline. You have to eat right. Wrestling requires a lot of balance and body movement, kind of like of bull riding.”
Do you have a favorite pre-ride meal?
“I like chicken alfredo. I try to eat that the night before I ride.”
What is your favorite breakfast?
“Four scrambled eggs, toast, two slices of turkey bacon and bowl of fruit. I try to have that every morning. Sometimes I leave the bacon out and go with five scrambled eggs.”
What do you like to do in your spare time?
“I like to team rope when I am not riding bulls, so you can catch me at the other end of the arena.”